How to tell if your autistic
Do I Have Symptoms of ASD or Aspergers?
Do I Have Autism? A Test for Adults
Awareness of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has grown dramatically in recent years, which reflects an increase in autism tests and diagnoses — and in the public’s understanding that, even late in life, an autism diagnosis can offer major benefits and relief. Still, symptoms of autism — particularly those previously associated with Aspergers — are still frequently misdiagnosed as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), mood disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and other related conditions — leading to poor treatment and lifelong challenges. If you recognize yourself or a loved one in the following descriptions of autism spectrum disorder, make an appointment with a health care professional to discuss an evaluation test for autism.
This free autism test was adapted from the Autism Spectrum Screening Questionnaire (ASSQ) designed to screen the possibility of ASD, and is for personal use only. This is not a diagnostic tool. An accurate diagnosis can only be made through clinical evaluation. This autism test is for personal use only.
Do you have trouble understanding what people mean when they say they feel embarrassed for someone else?
Did bullies target you in grade school?
Are you really (really) good at a skill like math or music, but struggle to succeed in other areas?
Do you prefer to play individual games and sports like golf, where everyone works for themselves, instead of team sports and games where everyone works toward a common goal?
Do you enjoy inventing your own words and expressions that might seem quirky to others?
Is your memory like a steel trap, even for facts that you don’t fully understand?
Do you talk to friends at a party the same way you would talk to co-workers in the office?
Do your family members lovingly refer to you as the “eccentric professor” of the family?
Think about your daily routine. Would you say you follow the same schedule every day of the week, and don’t like unexpected events?
Are you always the first one to notice when a friend has gotten a haircut or made a small change to their appearance?
Have you always wanted a best friend, but never found one?
Are expressions like “Curiosity killed the cat” or “Don’t count your chickens before they hatch” odd to you?
When you’re having a conversation with someone, do you prefer to look at the wall, their shoes, or anywhere but directly into their eyes?
Do people say that you speak like a robot?
Do you prefer to read non-fiction over fiction books?
Are you always bumping into things, or tripping over your own feet?
Even when you’re in a quiet place, like the library, do you find yourself making involuntary noises, like clearing your throat over and over?
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Autism Test Next Steps: Autism Spectrum Disorder In Adults
1. Take the ADHD Test for Adults
2. Read What Does Autism Look Like in Adults?
3. Read: ADHD and Adult Autism: Symptoms, Diagnosis & Interventions for Both
4. Read: How to Get Evaluated for Autism as an Adult
5. Take This Test: OCD in Adults
6. Get the eBook “The Truth About Autism in Adults”
7. Listen to the Webinar: “Could I Be on the Autism Spectrum?”
8. Take This Test The Autism Test from WebMD
9. Read: Say Goodbye to Aspergers Syndrome
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New Asperger Syndrome Guidelines: Related Conditions
Several years after the term “Asperger syndrome” was dropped from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), people still use the term. Colloquially, it suggests the symptoms of a milder, higher-functioning form of autism. But the latest edition of the manual, known as DSM-5, uses only one term — autism spectrum disorder. Why the change?
Through 2013, children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) were assigned one of three labels: Those with more severe impairments were diagnosed as having autism. Those with milder disability were said to have Asperger syndrome, and those who didn’t fit either category were classified as having pervasive developmental disorder, not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS). Many parents and doctors continue to use these terms.
By the new guidelines, a child who has social, play, and communication delays, along with particular patterns of behavior (such as atypical, intense interests or repetitive behaviors), will be diagnosed as having an autism spectrum disorder. This diagnosis will come with a description of severity: mild, moderate, or severe. When possible, clinicians also consider a child’s cognitive abilities, since children with autism are at risk for developmental delays.
Debate about the change in terms has often been heated. Parents and providers alike often prefer “Asperger syndrome.” Many websites and books cling to the term, so information on milder autism may still be easier to find by searching that term. Yet it is useful to understand how using the new terminology may help your child.
Quality care requires a clear sense of an individual’s strengths and areas of need — something not accurately reflected in the Asperger rationale. Anyone with social or communication delays that impair his everyday life needs treatment that will help him catch up, regardless of the name we use for his condition. The new thinking encourages focused planning around a particular child’s individual capabilities.
A Unified Theory of Autism
Why was the old term dropped? In the past, the options for diagnosis were:
- AUTISM described a child who struggled with social and communication delays of any severity, along with early language delays, and showed repetitive or obsessive behaviors.
- ASPERGER SYNDROME described a child with average cognitive skills, social and communication impairments of any severity, no early language delays, and having intense, unusual interests.
- PDD-NOS was a catchall for social-communication concerns that did not fit either of the other two labels. PDD implied milder symptoms, but, in reality, if a child had significant impairments but no repetitive behaviors, it was the appropriate label to use.
If that outline seems arbitrary and confusing, that’s because it was. The old terms were often misused and misunderstood. Neither PDD nor Asperger meant that someone had milder impairment than someone else with autism. The terms were vague as to the services a child should get, and were not used consistently among providers.
Using the old labels, intervention plans were often undermined. It doesn’t matter whether a child did or did not have early language delays several years ago. It’s his present needs that matter.
Diagnosis guides services, and the old terms didn’t do that well. Children with severe impairment but not meeting full criteria for autism might get diagnosed as having PDD or Asperger. This meant they might receive fewer hours of services, even if they displayed more significant delays than another child with mild, high-functioning autism.
Several factors relate to outcome for children with autism, including severity of impairment, the presence or absence of cognitive delays, and long-term behavioral therapy. The old labels didn’t define “severity.” While Asperger signified average cognitive skills, children with autism or PDD could have average or above intelligence, too. Milder-seeming labels usually meant a decrease in the amount of behavioral therapy children received.
Actions, Not Labels, Matter Most
Whatever we call their challenges, children with an autism spectrum disorder do not intuitively understand the social world. Severely affected children have little apparent interest in other people. Those with mild impairment may be somewhat motivated socially, but lack skills to initiate or maintain conversation and play with peers. These children require prolonged support to thrive.
Having one term to describe all kinds of autism is a big step toward recognizing each child’s individual strengths, and focusing attention on the kind of care that is most needed. Changing the debate about individual labels allows parents and providers to focus on the services needed by each child.
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Autism in adults
Autism is a disorder of the brain, the causes of which may be genetic, mechanical (brain damage) or otherwise, - usually manifests itself in early childhood.
However, it also happens that autism in adults develops in adulthood, and people around do not have time to understand what is happening and provide the necessary assistance. Signs of development of autism in adults is often confused with seasonal depression, just a bad mood, due to external problems, and so on. Typically, adults develop atypical autism .
Signs of the development of autism in adults:
- A person withdraws into himself, stops talking frankly with loved ones.
- A person begins to avoid communication, tries to pass by acquaintances without saying hello, does not support general conversations.
- A person avoids eye-to-eye contact, his facial expression becomes poorer, as if "numb".
- A person becomes passive or vice versa - too irritable.
- A person abandons his hobbies, his interest in life falls.
- A person ignores events and changes in his own life, in the lives of loved ones.
- A person's sense of duty disappears, he becomes forgetful and distracted. Moreover, he does not feel guilty for unfulfilled promises.
- The person loses the sense of real time.
- A person ceases to strive for joint leisure with loved ones, for spending free time in crowded places.
- A person begins to be characterized by stereotypical movements, repetition of phrases, often borrowed from films, songs, maybe the media.
- A person begins to avoid verbal communication by all means, to be afraid of it.
Even one or more of the above symptoms may indicate that an adult is developing autism or an autism spectrum disorder. Such a person needs urgent help from a psychiatrist and a neurologist.
Autism in adults interferes with a full social life, makes a person avoid any contacts, and even if such a person does not have mental deficiencies, nevertheless, it is very difficult for him to lead an independent life.
Things as simple and understandable to everyone as looking for a job, going shopping, making acquaintances with an attractive member of the opposite sex, and so on, can be a serious test and even real torture for an autistic person.
Autism in adults , as well as autism spectrum disorders, is more common than you might think. According to data obtained by British scientists in the course of large-scale studies, every hundredth adult people suffer from autism.
Autism in adults is more common in men than in women. Often the intelligence of adult autistics is very high, they achieve great success in their careers, make scientific discoveries, and so on, but communication problems remain.
The aforementioned and other studies also show that with autism in adults only about 33% are able to fully or partially manage daily life without outside help, live and work independently. Severe Forms autism in adults lead to the fact that a person ceases to speak. Such people are at a low intellectual level.
An idea of autism in adults can be obtained by watching the movie "Rain Man" starring Dustin Hoffman. This film in 1989 was recognized as the best film of the year and received the highest award, and Dustin Hoffman himself was awarded an Oscar in the Best Actor nomination for his role as an adult man suffering from autism .
Classification of autism in adults:
According to the psychological classification of autism in adults , they are divided into five groups
- The first group - patients who do not interact with the outside world. They are practically incurable.
- The second group - people who are closed in themselves, showing a craving for communication solely on their own initiative. They can spend hours doing what they love, and not feel like eating, sleeping or relaxing.
- The third group - people who do not accept the views and norms of society.
- Fourth group - dependent adults patients with autism who are characterized by being offended and not being able to resist problems. Such people are difficult to distinguish from healthy people. Only a psychiatrist can do this.
- Fifth group - it includes adults suffering from autism with an above-average level of intelligence. Such people become talented mathematicians, programmers, writers. In the United States, it was found that due to genetic disorders in autists, the so-called "genius genes" appear.
Unfortunately society does not always accept adults with autism . They are often called "eccentrics", they shun, and in the worst case, they laugh at them and humiliate sick people. Often adults who have developed autism turn away from their relatives and friends, and loneliness in autism in adults only aggravates the patient's condition.
Among the adults with autism are celebrities. For example, Woody Allen has signs of autism , the famous artist Vincent van Gogh also had them.
Autism cannot be completely cured, but the condition of an adult suffering from autism can be significantly improved. To do this, he needs to learn the rules of behavior, some actions, learn to be independent - all this is important for the survival of an adult suffering from autism . The main thing is to start correcting behavior faster, then the process will be easier and it will be possible to achieve results faster.
Peculiarities of manifestation of autism in adults
Autism is one of the mental illnesses that develops as a result of disturbances in the functioning of the brain. Often the nature of such disorders causes a long course of this disease. For this reason, autism, the first signs of which are already noticeable in childhood, lasts throughout life, and patients have to put up with autistic disorders not only in childhood, but also in adulthood. An autistic adult has all the same difficulties in interacting with others, lack of emotions, stereotyped thinking, narrowness of interests, and other primary and secondary symptoms.
In adults, as well as in children, there are various forms of autism, united in the general group of autism spectrum disorders. The degree of complexity of the disease depends on its symptoms, the nature of therapy and the degree of socialization of an autistic adult. The defining features of autism are the so-called triad:
- problems with social interaction
- violation of communication skills
- narrow range of interests of the individual and ritual behavior.
A characteristic feature of an adult autistic that distinguishes him from the rest is isolation. Regardless of the form of the disease, an adult with an autism spectrum conduct disorder finds it very difficult to establish social contacts and stay away from society throughout his life. Primary autism should be distinguished from secondary, or “autism involuntarily”. Often people with pathologies of the speech or hearing apparatus, congenital dementia and other ailments are rejected by society. They withdraw into themselves, being outside of society. The fundamental difference between “autistic involuntarily” is that they experience acute discomfort due to their conflict with others, congenital autists are not interested in contact with others. These people, by their nature, cannot be included in society; ordinary communication is an irritant for them.
Another characteristic symptom of autism - impaired communication skills is a consequence of the isolation of behavior. Typically, autistic children begin to speak later than their peers. The reason for this is not so much physical deviations, but the lack of the motive for communication itself. Such a child simply does not want to talk. Over time, most people learn an "unnecessary" speech skill. However, this situation leaves its mark in adult life. Autistic adult speech differs from the speech of healthy people in its scarcity and underdevelopment.
The third most important symptom is the constancy of the autistic's inner world. Autistic adults have an acute need for constancy , in some cases this may resemble ritualism. This can manifest itself in strict observance of the established daily routine, gastronomic habits, systematization of personal belongings. Any violation of the usual way of life causes excitement, panic attacks or aggression.
In general, the character of an adult autistic can be characterized as closed, isolated, replete with constancy . Due to the inadmissibility of any changes in the existing way of life, autists have a very narrow circle of their own interests. The methodical repetition of the same thing often allows them to bring their favorite skill to perfection. This leads to the prevailing opinion that autism is characteristic of geniuses. In fact, real geniuses rarely come from autists. Moreover, very often autism is accompanied by mental retardation and behavioral abnormalities. In this case, the leading skill of an autistic adult will not be a virtuoso game of chess, but picking up a pyramid of children's cubes.
Autism itself is a general concept. In modern medicine, general autism is divided into several areas:
- autism proper ( Kanner's syndrome )
- Asperger's syndrome (mild form of autism)
- Rett syndrome (female neuropsychiatric disease)
- atypical (combined) autism
The most complex form of autism is Kanner's syndrome , or autism itself. People with Kanner's syndrome experience the full spectrum of autistic symptoms. Such a person is absolutely asocial, speech skills are weak or absent due to atrophy of the speech apparatus. The most important nervous structures are not developed, the intellect is at the level of moderate or severe mental retardation. An independent life of such a person is impossible. A person with Kanner's syndrome must be under constant supervision, in especially severe cases, isolation in a specialized medical facility is required.
The syndrome described by the eminent psychiatrist Hans Asperger is a milder form of the disease. Despite tangible problems in communication and socialization, such people are fluent in speech and cognitive abilities. They can be closed, strange, somewhat awkward, but quite independent. People with Asperger's Syndrome often work and become full members of society.
Rett syndrome is a chronic disease transmitted only through the female line. The disease manifests itself not earlier than 1 year, after which the patient begins to rapidly regress. Therapy helps to slightly improve the overall picture. There are few adult women with Rett syndrome. The disease usually ends in death before the age of 25–30 years.
When it is not possible to identify a specific form of autism, one speaks of atypical autism, which is a combined set of different symptoms.
Of all the listed forms of autism, Asperger's syndrome and atypical autism are the most common.
Although autism has been studied in detail since the first decades of the 20th century, its causes have not yet been unraveled. Today, one of the main ones is the theory of gene mutation. Scientists have been able to identify some genes that affect the development of autism, but they have not been able to figure out how and why the mutation occurs.
Treatment for autism should begin at an early age, as soon as the disease is diagnosed. In this case, treatment is reduced to rehabilitation measures. Only in this case does the little autist have a chance to grow into a more or less independent adult. The primary role is played by therapy (behavioral, speech therapy). Regular visits to a psychotherapist are also recommended for adults with autism who have managed to adapt to society. Often, patients are prescribed medications (psychotropic and anticonvulsant substances). It can be antidepressants, antipsychotics, various stimulants. They help to stabilize the patient's condition, alleviate the symptoms, but the psychological disorder itself is not eradicated, and it accompanies the autistic person throughout his life.
PREVENTION OF AUTISM
There are no strictly defined rules for the prevention of autism, but there are some recommendations of specialists, using which parents can avoid the appearance of this disease in a child. Pregnant women and nursing mothers need to be very strict about their diet and try to avoid foods that contain GMOs. This also applies to artificial milk mixtures.
The body of some children cannot process gluten, as it can provoke depressive states. And products with such a component are contraindicated for a child with autism.
It is also worth paying close attention to the vaccinations given to the child, as modern vaccinations contain heavy metal compounds as a preservative. Children's bodies sometimes cannot cope with the vaccine, and mercury poisoning can occur. Signs of poisoning are similar to the main manifestations of autism in a child.
signs and diagnosis. How to recognize autism
Autism in adults - symptoms, causes and classification of the disease. How is autism different from autism spectrum disorder. External signs of an autist, the possibility of rehabilitation and social adaptation, the main directions of treatment. The importance of the Internet for adults with autism as a means of communication and virtual socialization. Everything related to autism in adults, we decided to find out in an interview with the Chief Physician of the Health Harmony Medical Center, a psychiatrist, psychiatrist-narcologist and psychotherapist Vladislav Sipovich.
What is autism and autism spectrum disorder, what is the difference?
Autism has many synonyms. It is also called infantile, childhood, early infantile autism, as well as Kanner's syndrome or autism, in the American DSM-IV classification it is called autistic disorder. All these are the names of a disorder associated with impaired development of the brain (GM) and manifested by such main symptoms, the so-called triad:
• Difficulty or complete impossibility of establishing social ties and communication.
• Restrictions on areas of interest.
• Repetitive compulsions. Learn more about obsessive-compulsive disorder syndrome.
Other symptoms are characteristic, but not decisive in the diagnosis of autism. They may manifest as:
• Inadequate response to stimuli, when a strong stimulus is ignored, and the reaction to a weak one is excessive. For example, the slightest noise can cause crying and screaming, and loud speech does not attract attention.
• Selectivity in food.
• Perfectionism, etc.
True autism develops in early childhood, the first pronounced signs appear before the age of 3 years. It is simply impossible not to notice them, unlike autism spectrum disorder (ASD), which has milder symptoms and therefore can go undiagnosed. There is a theory that autism in adults is an autism spectrum disorder not noticed in childhood.
What causes autism and how common is it?
The etiology of autism has not been fully elucidated. The genetic theory of the origin of autism is generally accepted, which is confirmed by cases of multiple development of autism or ASD in families. For example, when a mother and two out of three children suffer from ASD. It is believed that this process involves the genes responsible for the maturation of connections in the GM synapses. But how this happens - whether due to a mutation in a single gene, or due to multiple mutations - is not clear. The most reliable is the assumption that during meiosis (the process of formation of germ cells with a half set of chromosomes), when they diverge, deletions are observed (loss of one of the genes) or the entry into the genome of two identical genes - duplications. As a result of such chromosomal aberrations, germ cells undergo mutations, which are later inherited, more often through the maternal line.
Factors leading to an increased risk of mutations can be almost all teratogens, ie. substances that cause birth defects. They have the strongest effect on the fetus in the first 8 weeks of pregnancy.
Other factors that increase the risk of developing autistic disorders or complicate them are:
1. Infectious diseases.
2. Disorders of metabolism and development of bone tissue.
3. Ingestion of harmful substances, namely:
• Exhaust gases from diesel engines
• Heavy metals.
• Phthalates and phenols in plastics.
• Bromine-containing substances.
• GMO-containing foods.
4. The triad of vices - smoking, alcohol, drugs.
The risk of having children with autism is significantly increased by stressful conditions during pregnancy, intrauterine infections of the fetus, certain medications taken by pregnant women, as well as asthma, fever, obesity or malnutrition in a pregnant woman.
In addition, it is generally recognized that autism progresses rapidly in an unfavorable psychological environment, as well as severe physical and mental overwork.
For some time, there was an assumption that the development of autism in children was associated with their vaccination against measles, and specifically with the mercury-containing substance thiomersal in the composition of the vaccine. But scientific studies have not confirmed this assumption.
Some experts associate the development of autism with hyperactivity of the immune system in the direction of enhancing autoimmune processes in relation to one's own neurons and their synapses.
Currently, the scientific medical community is inclined to the idea that autism is a complex disorder caused by separate etiological factors, often acting simultaneously.
The incidence of autism is 1-2 people per 1000, and ASD - 6 people per 1000. With the growth of diagnostic efficiency, these figures have begun to grow, but there is no reason to talk about a specific increase in the incidence. By the way, ASD is 4 times more common in boys than in girls.
What are the most typical signs of autism in adults?
ASD, especially in mild autism in adults, is often confused with depression, bad mood, stressful conditions, etc. Therefore, the question of how to recognize autism in adults is quite relevant. Establishing the correct diagnosis will allow you to understand in a timely manner what is happening to the person and help him. Indeed, suffering from autism in adulthood, a person does not understand why it is difficult for him to communicate with other people, why he reacts to certain circumstances differently than others, why he does not find it funny when everyone laughs at a good joke, why he does not know at all that this is a joke. This further reinforces autism “involuntarily”, when a person feels isolated from society and is burdened by this. In severe forms of congenital autism, a person does not feel the need for communication at all, which is not interesting to him and even annoying.
By the way, autism in adult men occurs 5 times more often than in the fairer sex, and the overall prevalence, according to statistics from British scientists, is 1 autistic per 100 healthy people.
Suspicion of autism in adults, the signs of which can be rather mild and, as it were, erased, can be based on the following symptoms: When meeting acquaintances, an autistic person pretends not to notice them and tries to pass by without saying hello. Communication with even likeable people is painful for a person with ASD.
• Unwillingness to look into the eyes of the interlocutor, or vice versa, too intent, unblinking gaze.
• Ignoring former hobbies, narrowing the range of interests.
• A person does not perceive and does not react to events in the life of loved ones and his own.
• Loss of guilt, duty, responsibility, emotional impoverishment. A person does not experience any feelings at all, except for anger, anger and irritation.
• Feeling of unreality of what is happening, lack of orientation in time.
• Appearance of stereotyped movements, repetition of phrases from films, songs, etc.
• Perfectionism - the desire to do everything and arrange in a certain order. Hence the conservatism in dress, habits, skills, food, and so on. Some autistics, through constant repetition, hone certain skills to perfection, but this is by no means a sign of genius, as some believe. The slightest deviation from the rituals for an autist is simply unacceptable and causes extreme irritation.
• The constancy of the inner world. Any change in the course of life is perceived dramatically and can cause a negative reaction.
• Total lack of sense of humor.
• Misunderstanding and ignoring the elementary rules of behavior, emotions, feelings and intentions of another person. Autistic people simply do not realize that their behavior or words can offend another person, associating him with an inanimate object. Only an autistic person, after listening to unflattering remarks in the team, can approach the boss and ask: “Are you really a fool?”.
• Inability to form romantic or friendly relationships due to lack of knowledge and communication skills.
• They hear about love, but they cannot feel this feeling, because they do not feel affection even for their relatives.
• Autistic people do not understand romantic gestures, kissing is considered meaningless, and hugs are perceived as a constraint on freedom of movement.
• Sexual feelings are familiar to them, but they cannot discuss them with others. All knowledge about sex is drawn from serials and films, often with pornographic content.
Even if a person has only a few of the above symptoms, an urgent consultation with a neurologist, psychiatrist or psychotherapist is necessary.
Outwardly, an autistic adult is given out by poor facial expressions, aversion of the eyes, a meager vocabulary and speech devoid of emotional coloring (like a cyborg).
What are the types of autism, what is its classification based on?
Autism, as a concept, combines several pathological conditions, namely:
• Autism proper, known as Kanner's syndrome/autism. This is the most severe form of the disease with a full range of symptoms. Patients are completely asocial, speech is undeveloped or absent altogether, the speech apparatus is atrophied. Cognitive abilities at the lowest level.
Mental retardation of moderate or severe form is noted, important nerve centers are not developed, therefore independent existence is impossible, constant supervision is necessary. In especially severe cases - hospitalization in specialized medical facilities.
• Asperger's Syndrome/Autism, which is a mild form of autism in which there are problems with socialization and communication, but without impairment of cognitive language functions. Closure, strange behavior and some constraint do not prevent them from being absolutely independent and full-fledged members of society.
• Rett syndrome is a neuropsychiatric disorder in women. It manifests itself after a year of life and is accompanied by a rapid regression of the musculoskeletal and nervous systems, which cannot be stopped with medication. Usually, only rare women with this syndrome reach the age of thirty, so it is quite difficult to meet adult women with Rett syndrome.
• Atypical autism, which includes ASDs not identifiable by the first three forms, ie. all those that have atypical symptoms.
Asperger's syndrome and atypical autism are the most common in adults. However, they may be distinguished by high intelligence or other outstanding abilities, such as photographic memory. They can even make discoveries and achieve significant career growth. For example, the prominent artist Van Gogh had signs of autism, although the exact diagnosis of his mental disorder is still a mystery.
Through the differential diagnosis of autism in adults, it was possible to classify 5 groups of autistic people with different intensity of symptoms:
1. Patients with little to no interaction with the outside world. These are incurable patients who need daily care.
2. Closed people who rarely strive for communication, and then only on their own initiative. It is almost impossible to impose communication on them from outside. They like to be alone and spend hours doing one thing without sleep, food and rest. They also require daily supervision and organization of life.
3. People who do not understand and do not perceive the rules of conduct and social norms.
4. Autistic people who tend to be offended easily and do not know how to confront problems on their own. They are quite difficult to distinguish from healthy ones, which can only be done by a psychotherapist or psychiatrist.
5. Autistic adults with above-average intelligence who have mutations not only for mild autism, but also for “genius” genes, which confirms the Van Gogh example.
By the way, studies have found that only 33% of people with autism are able to live independently or need help only occasionally.
What is autism in adults, we have already found out. But is it possible to get rid of it, or at least socially adapt the patient?
As for the possibility of a cure for autism, then, unfortunately, I will answer in the negative. Autism is forever, but it's not a death sentence yet. It all depends on how severe and how autism is manifested in adults, as well as the type of autistic disorder. It is practically impossible to help patients with autism proper, which manifested itself in early childhood. The complete lack of interaction with the outside world cannot be cured by either psychotherapy or medication. All that remains is the care of the sick in the family or in a specialized hospital institution.
Asperger's syndrome and atypical autism, the most common in adults, have a fairly large opportunity for social adaptation. People with a mild form of autism often come to a psychotherapist already sufficiently adapted in society, engaged in professional activities, and even having a family. They turn when the symptoms of the disease intensify, transform and begin to interfere with their implementation in society, i.e. when the problem escalates and others begin to notice it. It becomes more and more difficult for a person to imitate feelings that he does not experience, not to sleep at night from the inability to solve insignificant problems, to suffer from the consciousness that he is different from others and not understanding the reasons for his “exclusivity”. Fortunately, there are encouraging statistics that with early diagnosis and timely rehabilitation, more than 50% of autistic people begin to lead an independent lifestyle and do without the care of relatives.
Of course, it will not be possible to completely cure autism, but it is possible to teach the patient the basic skills of independent existence and communication, designating “what is good and what is bad” and thus correcting his behavior. In practice, treatment comes down to rehabilitation and social adaptation. The main direction is psychotherapeutic, in particular cognitive-behavioral therapy. Sometimes it is possible to prescribe antidepressants, antipsychotics, psychotropic and anticonvulsants to relieve symptoms, stabilize the condition, and when autism is associated with other mental disorders.
Can modern information technologies contribute to the social adaptation of people with autism?
Very interesting question. It has long been noted that autistic people have difficulty making direct verbal contact, but they are quite willing to communicate in various social networks. Special forums have even begun to appear on the Internet, where an autistic person can find a partner with the same disease. Correspondence allows you to establish friendly or personal relationships with a similar person, as well as organize various communities to protect your rights. Many autistic adults believe that autism is not a disease, but a unique way of thinking and relating to the world around them. To protect such a life concept at 19In 1996, the NJAS network community was created, which stands for Independent Living on the Autism Spectrum. In addition, all over the world April 2 is celebrated as the day of the dissemination of knowledge about autism, which clearly emphasizes the relevance of this problem for the world community.
In addition, computer technology expands the ability of a person with ASD to find a remote job and thus realize themselves professionally. Moreover, the high intellectual abilities of some autistic people allow them to perform tasks of increased complexity, especially those that require taking into account the smallest details. At the same time, they do not experience psychological discomfort from live communication with colleagues and can fully concentrate on the work that they do with the meticulousness of a perfectionist.